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The first current surge she smiled

On 31. October 2017 was Nina Roth (Name changed) on an operating table of the inselspital Bern and smiled. It was the first Smile for many years. It was all caused by electrodes, was implanted with a neuro surgeon just to the brain. The awake surgery was the last glimmer of hope for a woman who saw no hope.

The method used in the severely depressed patient, is called deep brain stimulation. A method used in Parkinson's for about twenty years and now has established. The application in the case of depression, on the other hand is still in its infancy. "Worldwide, to date only around 200 cases have been published," says Sebastian Walther from the University's neuroscience center of Bern at the Inselspital.

The 48-year-old Nina Roth is one of the first patients in Switzerland who decide to treat their Depression in this way. Only a few people with severe, chronic and treatment-resistant depression come at all for the intervention in question. "Only when all other treatment options are unsuccessful, discuss the Option of a deep brain stimulation," says the psychiatrist, Sebastian Walther. "You path is at the end of a long suffering."

On the eve of the surgery a Nurse shaved her long, blonde hair.

The ordeal of Nina Roth started in her Childhood. "Even as a little girl I felt worthless and foreign in my family," she recalls. "I didn't know what I should in this world." At the age of thirteen she was diagnosed with anorexia, with bulimia nervosa was a result of twenty-five she succumbed to the alcohol. In her early twenties she was given the diagnosis of Depression. "The alcohol and the Ess crushing Addiction were desperate Attempts to feel something," she says. "Ever since I can remember, enveloped in a grey veil that zudeckte my feelings." Medication for depression helped only a little. Nevertheless, the young woman was able to study and have a relationship with a man, whom she later married. When she landed a Job in television, she broke her studies and started to work as a journalist. In addition, she began to write for various publications, and published several novels. "But no matter what I did, I felt no great joy."

With the help of a therapist, she managed the alcohol addiction and to overcome the bulimia. Only, the Depression remained and was in the course of the years, getting worse and worse. "The grey veil took my Breath away," she says. "My imagination disappeared, and I could no longer concentrate." She was no longer able to read a novel or to meet with friends.

Depression destroyed the marriage

"fear, and hopelessness controlled me. Almost every day I had thoughts of suicide," says Nina Roth. Three times she tried to take his own life. The second attempt, paid with the end of their marriage. "My husband found me semi-unconscious on the floor. He said to me, it's enough, you can go now."

two years Ago, she decided to contact the euthanasia organization Exit. "I was extremely desperate and was looking for a way out." At the same time you joined the Internet on an article about deep brain stimulation, which was carried out in the USA, Canada and Germany are already successfully in depressed patients. In this Operation, electrodes are implanted into the brain and a pacemaker current pulses sent out, which influence the activity of nerve cells, and thus enhance the mood. Nina Roth showed the article to your doctor. This made contact with the Inselspital Bern.

After months of investigations, the Doctors agreed to treat Nina Roth of the brain stimulation. For the then 46-Year-old, the Operation of the last rescue anchor. "I had tried dozens of drugs, about 60 electroconvulsive therapies behind me, and hundreds of psychotherapy hours." For several months, if not years of her life she had spent in psychiatric hospitals, without that her condition had improved.

Implanted in the patient at the Inselspital in Bern in the smallest of electrodes into the brain: neurosurgeon Claudio Pollo. Photo: Tanja laser/island group AG

On the eve of the surgery a Nurse shaved her long, blonde hair. The next Morning, her head was fixed under local anesthesia in a metal frame. The awake surgery, which followed, lasted well into the afternoon. The neurosurgeon Claudio Pollo from the University neuro centre in Berne-millimeter-thin electrodes in the region of the Nucleus accumbens, a brain region that also controls mood and Motivation implanted. "The procedure was uncomfortable and sometimes also painful," recalls Nina Roth. Before, during, and after the surgery, a nurse was at her side to support you. "You held my Hand and talked with me, which calmed me down tremendously."

As the first electrode in place, started the Doctors the first test run with the guards patient. Electrical pulses were sent via a pacemaker in the brain region. "The electrodes are connected via cable to the pacemaker, which is implanted under the clavicle," explains the neurologist, Ines Debove from the University neuro centre in Berne, which was involved in the Operation. Nina Roth felt the power, but the result: "I had to smile, and to me everything was easy and confident."

Why the electrical impulses improve the mood, is to the researchers of today is not entirely clear. "In the case of depression, certain regions are not changed in the brain, the nerve cells work well together," says the psychiatrist, Sebastian Walther. The current pulses to interrupt the abnormal activity of the nerve cells. "By the interference signal of the Brain metabolic changes. The exact mechanism of action still needs to be explored further."

Nina Roth is still going to psychotherapy and continues to take medication for depression.

Ines Debove, Claudio Pollo, Sebastian Walther and the other team mates were impressed with how well Nina Roth on deep brain stimulation spoke. "Was sunk in the patient before, started by the current pulses of a sudden, in the operating room to look around and to smile," recalls Sebastian Walther. "This reaction was exactly what we had hoped for." Otherwise the procedure went according to Plan. Very rarely it can occur in surgery on the brain to complications such as bleeding or infections. Sometimes it also comes to temporary muscle tension, speech -, or vision problems.

implanted electrodes in the brain, must be set to the current flow properly, for example, the strength of the current. This can take several weeks. "The electrical stimuli that are sent from the pacemaker, can be changed by me, via an external programming device," said Ines Debove, who has performed as a neurologist at Nina Roth, the fine adjustment of the pacemaker.

Since the surgery's been over a year. Nina Roth is still going to psychotherapy and continues to take medication for depression. But otherwise has changed your life dramatically. "I have no suicidal thoughts anymore," she says. "The gray veil is gone, I can see in color." The former journalist is again able to read books and meet friends. During her illness, many friendships were broken. However, in the last year as a result of happy coincidences and new acquaintances. Nevertheless, not everything was rosy in her new life: "There are still days that are not so great. But the past go."

quality of life

Not at all aim at the brain stimulation is such a success as in the case of Nina Roth. However, the Numbers are encouraging, "In studies In languages between 60 and 70 percent of the depressed patients respond well to the brain stimulation," says Sebastian Walther. To achieve a complete cure, but it is utopian. "The goal of brain stimulation is to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life."

The psychiatrist is convinced that deep brain stimulation is applied in the case of psychiatric disorders in the future. "To be able to make them wider, but much more experience." At the Inselspital Bern, Doctors practice, meanwhile, is still in restraint. "We have some requests, which we will examine closely," says Sebastian Walther. "At the moment, it is still an experimental treatment." Accordingly, it is no Fund performance. When Nina Roth of the insurance explained to the happiness prepared for the surgery.

Nina Roth's greatest dream is to be able to write again. "The imagination does not continue to flow as before. I hope she comes back." Currently, she lives with her parents, but her goal is to live again soon in your own four walls. Currently, she is the custodian of, and to the house of well-Known, "so I try out how it is to live alone". To fit your new life your new look. She is wearing the hair is now short and no longer dyes it blonde. Your Facial expression is different today, much more lively than in the past. "The Operation I found my Smile again."

(the Swiss family)

Created: 12.03.2019, 18:50 PM

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